Today I will visit the community of Titjikala in the Northern Territory, as part of this year’s Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme (AACAP). I will be accompanied by the Deputy Chief of the Australian Army, Major General Rick Burr, DSC, AM, MVO.
The AACAP Programme supports remote Indigenous communities, using the Australian Army’s technical expertise and experience to improve living conditions and community safety.
The Programme is a collaborative partnership between the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), which provides up to $6 million per project, and the Australian Army, which contributes significant personnel and equipment resources for the works.
A contingent of about 150 soldiers from the 6th Engineer Support Regiment was deployed to Titjikala in June this year as part of a five-month project to improve community infrastructure, health and living conditions.
The engineers have been joined by members of the Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Tongan armies, who are working side by side with our soldiers to construct a waste water treatment system, duplex housing, sheltered work spaces and a sports change-room.
Veterinary assistance, health education and clinical treatment is also being delivered as well as trade and employment courses in food preparation, business studies, multi-media and welding.
During NAIDOC week, the Titjikala community also hosted representatives from the AFL and Softball Australia for friendly sporting events, which included art displays, dance performances and Indigenous movie screenings.
The Australian Army Band also attended and there was a performance by John Schumann, creator of the song, On Every Anzac Day, which pays tribute to Australia’s history of Indigenous military service.
AACAP is opportunity for our soldiers to do what they do best: work alongside communities in need, share their skills and exchange cultural knowledge.
Media wishing to visit AACAP should register their interest with Media Operations on (02) 6127 1999.
For more information about AACAP visit: http://www.army.gov.au/Our-people/Army-Indigenous-community/Army-Indigenous-initiatives
Imagery of AACAP 2015 is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20151844 and http://images.defence.gov.au/S20151891
Chloe Petch (Minister Andrews’ Office) 0477 395 356
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999